Friday, May 31, 2013

Meet the Mourning Cloak Butterfly

The most amazing little creatures visit us each year and it is so fascinating to learn about each of them. Recently we had this little visitor out in the barn.

Then a few days later there was an invasion of these guys, out near the new garden sight, on one of the Poplar trees. 

Some seemed to have met with a terrible demise and were all shriveled up.
Not knowing who these little creatures were, we went to visit our friend "Google" to get some info and this is what we found ~ The Mourning Cloak Butterfly.
photo from:
Our original visitor is the adult, perhaps even the parent, to the invasion. Not only that, but those little guys that seemed to have met a terrible fate. Well those are not the carcasses of dispatched caterpillars but instead those are the discarded shed skin of the caterpillars that they leave behind as they grow. Mourning Cloak butterflies are the state insect of Montana, however their range includes most of North America and continental Europe.  We feel privileged that they have decided to visit us and deposit their young here.

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